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PHILADELPHIA -The University of Pennsylvania women's lacrosse team is back on the road on Wednesday, heading to Rutgers for a 4 p.m. first draw. The Quakers are 2-0 entering the game, and are ranked No. 13 this week in the IWLCA Coaches Poll. Rutgers enters the game with a 1-3 record.
The Red and Blue are in the midst of a stretch where they will play four games in 10 days, heading to Rutgers and then Brown on Sunday before returning to Franklin Field on March 10 to take on Saint Joseph's.
Wednesday's game will be the first time Penn has played a school competing in the new Big Ten for women's lacrosse. The Quakers will have three non-conference games against Big Ten opponents this season -- each on the road -- as Penn will venture to Maryland and Northwestern later this season.
All-time against Rutgers, Penn is 6-10, but the Quakers have owned the series of late, with a 4-1 record in the last five meetings. The last two contests between the two schools have been low-scoring affairs. In 2013, the last time the two met in New Jersey, Rutgers escaped with a 6-5 win on a cold, snowy day. Last year, Penn doubled up the Scarlet Knights at Franklin Field, 6-3.
The Quakers entered the season with a renewed focus on the draw control after finishing near the bottom of the rankings last season. So far, so good as Penn ranked 15th in the country in draw controls-per-game through two weeks of the season with 14.0 per contest. Meg Markham leads the Ivy League and is tied for 11th in the country with 5.0 draw controls-per-game.
Offensively, Tory Bensen and Nina Corcoran have been a dynamic duo so far. Benen has eight goals through two games, ranking fifth in the country with 4.0 goals-per-game. Corcoran leads the Ivy League with five assists, ranking seventh in the country with2.5 assists-per-game.
The Scarlet Knights have lost three games in a row following a season-opening 10-7 win over Villanova. Last time out, Rutgers was defeated by Delaware, 12-7.
Junior Kim Kolodny leads Rutgers with nine goals and 10 points to start the season. Sophomore Amanda Tuturro is right behind her with seven goals and nine points. Candice Dandridge has started all four games in goal, posting a .482 save percentage and a 10.24 GAA.
Nina Corcoran Named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week
Junior Nina Corcoran registered a career-high six points in Penn’s win over Vanderbilt, earning her first career Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week award. Corcoran tied her career high with four assists in the game.
Bensen Scores a Dandy Late to Vanquish Vandy
Senior Tory Bensen was quiet for most of Penn’s game against Vanderbilt, but came through late with the tying goal to send the game to overtime and then netting the game-winner with 0:04 to play in OT as Penn edged the Commodores, 12-11.
Quakers Derail Delaware’s Hot Start
Penn ventured south to Delaware for its first game of 2015 last weekend, taking on a Blue Hens team which was 2-0 and had scored 39 goals in two games to start the season. The Quakers neutralized the Delaware attack, and put the first loss of the season on the Blue Hens, 9-7.
Tory Bensen Brings The Offense to Blue Hens
Senior attacker Tory Bensen picked right up where she left off last season, tying her career high with six goals against Delaware.
Megan Kelly Named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week Following Impressive Debut
Sophomore defender Megan Kelly made her first career appearance a memorable one as she recorded three caused turnovers and three ground balls in the win at Delaware. After missing all of 2014 with injury, Kelly’s remarkable debut earned her Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week in the opening round of weekly awards.
Penn’s Starting Defense is “All-Ivy”
With Kelly earning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week last week, each of Penn’s four starting defenders as earned either Ivy Defensive Player of the Week or been named All-Ivy at some point during their careers. Meg Markham (Two-time All-Ivy, 2014 Ivy Defender of the Year, two-time Defender of the Week), Taylor Foussadier (Two-time All-Ivy), Lydia Miller (All-Ivy) and Kelly (All-Ivy) give Penn the League’s most recognized defense.
Bensen Cracks 100-Point Plateau
Tory Bensen’s first goal of the season gave her 100 career points, just the 21st player in program history to reach the 100-point plateau. She enters this week with 91 career goals, just nine away from becoming the eighth player in program history to join the “100 Goal Club.”
“Tory Terrific” Drives Offense
Dating back to April 19 of last year, Tory Bensen has scored three or more goals in seven of Penn’s last nine games. Her goal total over her last eight games is 33 – an average of 3.7 per game.
Markham Milestones Imminent
Meg Markham has been causing havoc defensively for the Quakers the past three years, setting her up for a few career milestones this season. She recorded her 100th career ground ball against Vanderbilt and has 95 draw controls, closing in on the century mark in that category.
The Red and Blue return 25 players from last year’s team, including 11 who started 12 or more games during the 2014 season.
Welcome Back (Part II) ...
Among the 25 returning players is a quartet of “Fifth-Year Seniors” who were injured at some point during their careers and earned a medical hardship. Tory Bensen, Shannon Mangini, Lydia Miller and Lindsey Smith all will finish their careers this season for the Quakers. Among them, they have earned two All-Region awards and three All-Ivy awards while compiling 158 goals, 200 points, and 210 ground balls during their careers.
Defense Looks to Dominate Again
The Quakers return four players who appeared in 15 or more games on defense last season as the Red and Blue finished seventh in the country in scoring defense at 7.78 goals allowed-per-game. Reigning Ivy League Defender of the Year and first-team All-American Meg Markham leads the group, coming off a 2014 campaign where she led the Ivy League in caused turnovers with 43 and averaged 2.39 CTs per game which ranked fifth nationally. Joining Markham among the returners are Lydia Miller, Taylor Foussadier and Leah McBride.
Ferguson Returns to the Cage
Senior goalkeeper Lucy Ferguson is back between the pipes for the Quakers in 2015, coming off a second consecutive first-team All-Ivy season which saw her lead the Ancient Eight in GAA (7.70) and finish second in save percentage at .463. Those numbers ranked her seventh and 16th in the nation in those respective categories.
Pair of Tewaaraton Nominees Back for Penn
Lucy Ferguson and Meg Markham were two of 25 nominees for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award – presented annually to college lacrosse’s top players – last season.
Wealth of Offense Returns
You’d be hard pressed to find a team in the country which returns as much of its scoring output from 2014 as the Quakers do this season. Last year, Penn scored 158 goals. The players returning to the lineup from last season add up to 155 of those goals – or a whopping 98.1 percent.
Another Chance at the Champs
With Penn’s game at Maryland on March 18, the Quakers will take on the defending national champions for the ninth consecutive season. Add in regular-season foe Princeton, and the Quakers have taken on the reigning champs in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
Atop the Ancient Eight
Penn is 53-3 in regular season Ivy League games dating back to the 2007 season. That equates to a .946 winning percentage in conference games. Outside of Princeton (6-2) and Dartmouth (7-1), the Quakers are a perfect 8-0 against every other Ivy team in regular season action since their title run began.
Penn is Climbing Ivy Title Charts
Penn is tied with Princeton for third-most Ivy League titles with ten overall. Harvard is first with 12, while Dartmouth is second with 11.
Quakers Proficient at “Hanging Ten”
The Quakers have won 10 games in a season in eight of the last nine seasons after going 23 years without a 10-win season.
All-Time in the Ivy League
This year marks the 36th year of Ivy League women’s lacrosse. The Red and Blue are 163-97-2 all-time in Ivy League contests.
Follow Along With the Red and Blue
You can keep up with the Quakers all season online via Twitter (@PennWomensLax) and Facebook (Facebook.com/PennWomensLacrosse) and on Instagram at PennWomensLax.